A Kwik Style spokesperson replied that, of course, the Norwegian dance troupe does not support human rights abuses.
They are role models for many young people, and when they publish in this way, they are hiding a shocking truth. Influencer Kjetil-André Ward (30) tells VG they obscure what’s really going on behind Qatar’s façade and heighten the charm of a place with terrible situations.
in end of October VG wrote that the dance troupe had received criticism for publishing posts that highlighted the visit to Qatar, including from human rights group Amnesty International.
On Sunday they returned to the country. Subtract four members With FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and they wrote that they were at the World Cup stadium in Qatar. They posted the photo to their 2.7 million followers on Instagram. On TikTok, the group has 1.9 million followers.
This Instagram post is causing a reaction from many people. In the comments section boils down:
“Honestly guys, the first time we were able to write it off as some sort of calculating ignorance, now that leaves a real bad taste in the mouth.”writes a user.
“Fast style can tempt a floppy dancer to dance on the graves of the more than 6,000 workers who died building the World Cup stadiums.”writes another.
VG has been in contact with the dance troupe’s spokesperson, Ibrar Malik, who has been presented with the criticism in the case.
– Of course we do not support human rights violations, Malik writes in an e-mail, and continues:
– We are not the ones who criticize the countries we visit and create greater divisions that destroy the opportunity for dialogue. We will always do what we can to meet our fans, and participate in conversations where we can also influence people in higher positions.
Are you making up the actual situation in Qatar?
– No, we only show what we experience and see. There was no intention or desire to form any relationship wherever we went. Reference: We were in New York without criticizing the United States, mainly because we promoted exactly what we saw and experienced.
– This is bad
The dancers of the group Quick Style have established themselves over time as some of the most seasoned Norwegian dancers and have close collaborations with the rap duo Karpe.
Kjetil-André Ward is a trained professional dancer, but today she gave up. He says he has great respect for Quick Style, and what they have achieved.
– especially for the dance environment in Norway. But I am very disappointed with their way of handling this, he says, adding:
– I’ve looked at them myself, and am disappointed that they don’t realize the consequences of the situations they can help foster. They have a responsibility as public figures and as the face of a dance school in which children and young people participate.
He also criticizes the media for not shedding more light on the case. He says the dance environment in Norway is small, and he thinks people might be afraid to come out against actors who have a lot of power in the industry.
– When I posted, I had a swollen stomach. But most important to me is defending the positions I have, out of fear of burning bridges.
A spokesman for the group said Sunday, Ibrar Malik, the dance troupe has a day off, between performances in Dubai and Pakistan. They obtained the tickets through an acquaintance.
They flew there at their own expense to see the opening, Malik said.
– Even though the ride isn’t sponsored, they still advertise places with stands under which they shouldn’t be built, says Ward.
Quick Style: – Not the positions we want to reinforce
VG asked Malik what the group thinks about their role as role models and the responsibility that comes with it.
– We’ve been working for 15 years to give children and young people a place to shape their own creative journey while reminding them of important values like equality, discipline and unity. In this regard, people will be able to see that we meet all kinds of people and not be afraid to start a dialogue with individuals that most people would criticize from a distance, he replies.
– Amnesty International accused Qatar in the past of violating human rights. Are these positions Quick Style wants to help promote?
– No, these are not positions that we want to promote, regardless of the participating countries. We challenge everyone in our path with conversations when we feel things are at odds with our values. Based on what we experience, not what we are told. It is important for us to always be where our fans are, and at the same time strive to see them, hear them and meet them, as when we meet them at our own expense and initiative on the open street for a “meet and greet.” Malik writes, and continues:
– We use our own resources to go out to them, give them love while also building rapport with influential people and institutions in order to have a positive impact on the way forward through dance and joy.
“Damn so embarrassing,” Halvor Harsem, better known as Kong Halvor, wrote in the comments section of his QuikStyle photo with the FIFA President.
To VG, Harsem explains:
– I’m just deeply provoked, and I can’t keep it. The big discussion throughout the fall was about human rights abuses in Qatar and how problematic the World Cup was, while at the same time the group with several million followers was completely thumbs-up, even after last month’s barbs, and continues to do so. Qatar and Dubai delights, he writes in an SMS.
He also wrote that when the Quick Style group posts a picture with the FIFA president, it feels like a jab at those who demanded answers from them.
– They have chosen, so to speak, their side now. At the same time, they still haven’t properly responded to the criticism, or said anything about Kwik Style’s ideas about, for example, gay rights in Qatar.
A spokesperson for the group, Ibrar Malik, wrote to VG that this is a sensitive subject and there are many opinions on the subject.
“The criticism we have received is not in keeping with our intentions, and we have therefore chosen to wait until we give an answer until we understand the feelings we have created in critics back home in Norway,” he writes.
Our struggle concerns all people, and dance is our greatest tool. The last thing we want is hate mongering that limits our ability to make a difference in every country and region we visit. Our effect is to remind the importance of openness, dialogue and unity. Dance is already controversial in many of the areas we visit and we have been able to get to where the outcome is love and unity.
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